Forgot your password?

What is Embroidery?

By Edited Nov 29, 2015 2 7

Make Art With a Needle

What is embroidery? Embroidery is like painting a picture with thread. Embroidery is a learned skill, a craft, and a form of art. Embroidery is the art of creating a design on a piece of fabric. The design is made using a needle and some type of thread, like yarn or embroidery thread. Typically, the fabric is placed into an embroidery hoop, which will stretch the material so stitching will be consistent.

The origins of embroidery are unknown, but early examples survive from ancient Egypt, Iron Age Northern Europe and Zhou Dynasty China. Examples of surviving Chinese chain stitch embroidery worked in silk thread have been dated to the Warring States period (5th-3rd century BC).”[3627]

What is Embroidery? A Counted Cross-Stitch Picture

There are many different types of embroidery: Free embroidery, candlewicking, counted cross-stitch, crewel embroidery, needlepoint, and smocking are the most popular ones done today.

What is Embroidery?

Free Embroidery – A type of embroidery that is stitched onto a fabric using a design that can be stamped onto the fabric. Many kits are sold today with patterns pre-stamped on the fabric. This is one of the easiest types of embroidery. Kits can be found for beginners as well as the more experienced crafters.


What is Embroidery? Candlewicking
Candlewicking – Is a type of embroidery that is typically worked on a cotton fabric using thread similar to a candlewick. The designs are usually pre-stamped onto the fabric. Quite often, you will see this type of embroidery on pillows. Candlewicking pillows and other decorative pieces are popular items at charity silent auction sales. I find it simpler to purchase a candlewicking kit that has what you need to complete the stitching.


What is Embroidery? Sample of Counted Cross-Stitch(97167)
Counted Cross-Stitch – Cross-stitch embroidery is worked on aida cloth. This cloth looks like a mesh fabric. Designs are created by making cross-stitches using the openings in the mesh. Printed patterns are followed by counting the number of cross-stitches and stitching them into the aida cloth. Aida cloth comes in several colors, and the size of the mesh to be used is usually stated in the directions that come with the pattern. The directions also specify the type and color of thread to be used to complete the design. Cross-stitch embroidery can be used on clothing, on linens, to make pictures, and other decorating pieces. It is easy to do and a great craft. You can also purchase patterns in books, find patterns online, and then buy the items you will need to complete the project, or you can purchase a counted cross-stitch kit that includes everything you need.

What is Embroidery? Sample of Crewel Embroidery

Crewel Embroidery – Is similar to free embroidery except the pattern is stitched using yarn. The patterns are always stamped onto the fabric. Crewel embroidery can be used on clothes, pillows, pictures, and other household items. The yarn adds more texture to the piece and projects seem to work up faster.

What is Embroidery? Needlepoint

Needlepoint – Is a form of embroidery that uses a special type of open canvas. The design is printed or painted onto the canvas, and yarn is used to cover the canvas forming the design. Needlepoint is best used for decorating and upholstery.

What is Embroidery? Smocking(97506)
Smocking – Is a decorative way to gather material. Smocking is frequently used when making clothes for little girls.

Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

I confess - I am a needlework addict. Like others who are afflicted with the same disease, I have too many projects to do and not enough time to do them. Yet, whenever I happen upon a sale, I can’t resist adding one more pattern book, yarn, thread, or kit to my collection.

In Closing

Embroidery is one of my favorite needlecrafts. I like the fact that it can so easily be worked on for short periods, put down, and returned to later. I have many precious pieces of embroidery that were passed down to me by my mother and my mother-in-law. If you are looking for a new hobby or craft, then consider embroidery. It is a great way to create special gifts, and add beauty to your home. Now you know the answer to - what is embroidery.




Apr 30, 2012 11:59pm
Good information, I used to do a lot of it but internet get more time now. This article would look so much better with a few pictures to show the different types of embroidery
May 5, 2012 10:52pm
Thanks for the read and comment. This was a last minute post and all of my pictures were not ready. I hope you will come back to view some of my work. I have some more pieces that are ready for framing and some new kits ready to be worked. Thanks for stopping by, Eileen.
May 1, 2012 12:01am
Great article. I loved embroidery as a child.
May 5, 2012 11:12pm
I have been doing embroidery since I was a child, too. I still enjoy spending time turning a pattern into a great gift or an addition to my home. Thanks for the read and comment.
May 24, 2012 1:11pm
I've done crewel work and cross stitch before and enjoyed it but never really understood the differences between all these crafts. Your article has been very enlightening. Thank you! I'm going to bookmark this one.
Jun 9, 2012 7:36pm
Thanks, Diva! I appreciate the read and comment.
Jun 21, 2012 8:13pm
I didn't know anything about embroidery, but thanks to you I do now. I am not very domestic, but my sister knits and sews, so I am sending it to her she will be able to put it to use.
Add a new comment - No HTML
You must be logged in and verified to post a comment. Please log in or sign up to comment.


  1. "Embroidery." Wikipedia. 30/04/2012 <Web >

Explore InfoBarrel

Auto Business & Money Entertainment Environment Health History Home & Garden InfoBarrel University Lifestyle Sports Technology Travel & Places
© Copyright 2008 - 2016 by Hinzie Media Inc. Terms of Service Privacy Policy XML Sitemap

Follow IB Entertainment